The Consortium of Self Financing Professional Arts and Science colleges in Tamil Nadu which is a broader coalition of the engineering colleges of the state will be meeting the state Higher Education Minister, K. Ponmudi to request him for a nominal hike in fee.
P. Selvaraj, secretary of the consortium, told IANS that self-financing engineering colleges of the state are in acute financial crisis and eight engineering colleges in the states have been shut down this year.
It is to be noted that K. Ponmudi had ruled out Tamil Nadu accepting the new hiked fee for engineering courses announced by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Ponmudi in a statement on Friday said: “Engineering fees will not be increased in Tamil Nadu. The old fee will remain in state.”
Meanwhile, Selvaraj said that they would not accept the AICTE fee hike as it was very high but added that they would meet the state higher education minister requesting the government for a nominal hike in fee.
The consortium secretary said: “The AICTE fee hike is too high and we don’t accept it but we need a nominal hike for our survival. The representatives of the consortium of colleges will soon meet K. Ponmudi soon, and would request him a nominal hike in fees for engineering courses as we are facing acute financial crisis and eight engineering colleges in the self-financing sector in the state have already shut down this year due to financial crisis.”
It may be noted that the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has recommended a fee hike for engineering colleges in the self-financing sector.
According to the AICTE recommendation, a minimum fee of Rs 79,600 a year and a maximum fee of Rs 1.89 lakh a year can be charged for an undergraduate engineering course. In Tamil Nadu, in most of the engineering colleges, the fee is around Rs 55,000 a year which is almost half of the fee prescribed by the AICTE.
The minister has come out stating that the state government will not allow the private engineering colleges fleecing the students taking into consideration the hiked fee structure of the AICTE.
The minister’s statement has come as a major shock to several engineering colleges in urban areas of the state that were expecting to hike the fee according to AICTE recommendations.